Withdrawal

He is never vicious. Instead, romantic almost, the constancy of his presence defiling the bloodstream– lingering reminders of phantoms under nail beds and tragedies embedded within split ends.
He is Addiction, my sheltered lover, I cannot rid of his embrace. But I, having tasted freedom, crave it, like a juvenile aches for independence, throbs for the open road escaping monotony. He dreams only of my violet veins, pines for me, tongue double-knotted to worship at my ankles. His molars chatter without a taste of my marrow yet he remains an infatuated insomniac– vile breath of obsession always seeping through the hollows of my temples and into the moments where I bleed vulnerability, weeping counterfeit purity, writhing to slip through his wretched calloused fingers. His evil is handsome, handsome as arsenic, as promise, as blasphemy. I always stare.
I am in love, I tell him, but not with him. In love with the shadows of yesterdays where I did not tremble without him, before violence was taught to harbor my colors. He is blinded by his inability to believe me, veils of tainted brides serenading his cataracts. Belief– what a biting fallacy! It is comprised of the virgin’s ashes, charcoal trails of sorrow encompassing the circular echoes of his laughter. He laughs, he laughs, he laughs like malignant salvation. I always listen.
His eyes starve. The crumbled backbones of the murdered know his name well– toxicity, electricity, dependency, see? It is but the shallow love of an imposter. I watch as he swallows everything I am in love with. Doors slam, tendons snap, blood clots and pools. The residue of my joy collects upon my tongue, and then his, a spotless crime.
He does not blink. It is all gone and I am running, running, running, breath twitching under my palpitating footsteps. He always stays, warming the wooden benches planted on the backs of my eyelids, where he smiles, knowing it is only a matter of heavy gasps before I run back screaming into his white-knuckled devotion.
He knows my name, he says he loves me, he wants me. He holds my hand, devours my mind.
I always stay.

Nucleus

Some days I wake and deny myself
the right to be a poet.
The sky on this late March morning
is just a sky,
and these crowds of people flocking
across moonlight’s transfiguration
are just people, nothing more,
under their caffeinated conversations
and dew-coated legs, just plain
flesh bodies born
of the same tin cookie cutter.
My rippled reflection in this morning’s
mug of onyx coffee is just a reflection,
just my face, simple,
until it is painted white
and gone forever.
The sticky syrup of reality
is liquid enough to swallow today
so I will pretend through the afternoon,
pretend that there is no poetry
embedded within every passing mirage.

I will deny, but I will still see it–
see its flickering phantoms dancing
blurred in my peripherals, lingering
always as if to tempt
a desperate creation of words,
as if to conspire an emotion
that will straighten my heartstrings
into fine lines and words and truth.
I deny it still.
I deny my soul.

But when the moon returns to her pedestal
posed in our heavens, I will follow.
Through the lavender warmth of streetlights and melancholia
I will find the path of scattered words
leading to you, serrated spine folded
fast asleep.

Tonight I will watch the flutter
of your eyelashes,
not just as what they are, illuminated–
but as tarnished doves relearning flight,
the scarlet apples of your cheeks
falling suddenly from the trees
of distant dreams and with open hands
I will catch them,
knowing that you have already
written me into poetry
deep within their cores.

Today

It is inevitable. The chaos of human existence is confined within the boundaries of passing time. Within each fleeting minute, our lives expand inexhaustibly, new colors staining the canvases of human experience. As the hands of the clock continue their taunting and perpetual ballet, the art of mankind becomes more momentous, more groundbreaking, and tremendously more captivating.
We the people, of all languages, pigments, and aspirations, are the geniuses behind progress. We are the designers of history– our names engraved within the pages of crumbling history books, our faded faces inspiring the soft hands of future generations. Because of this stunning reputation, we have grown accustomed to falling in love with our own self-inflicted pedestals. Despite all of this pomp and circumstance, however; our only inescapable task is not to get under the skin of success or to chase the high-flying kites of earthly accomplishment, but instead, to mold our definite mortality into love everlasting: the notion that it is not solely where we walk with our time, but who impacts from our footsteps.
Time itself is fortitude– not lottery ticket grins plastered on television screens to be marveled upon by those who believe that power corresponds with a boundless wallet. Time itself defines abundant power– never reoccurring, never predictable, never guaranteed. As our eyes continue following the twirl of minute hands, our responsibility to seize it with both hands encompasses our need to spread it abundantly; to cherish every facet in attempt to conquer our graves.
Each day, in retrospect, is a revolution in itself.  Morning yields rosy skies, the cadence of hummingbirds swarming outside dewy windowpanes. Babies will be born today, rosy cheeked and fragile in hospital beds and porcelain bathtubs. Life inevitably begins this way– jubilant mothers cradling their bundles of heaven with teary eyes and loving hands. Please, never grow up. Toddlers fumble as they walk barefoot down their carpeted living room floors, a shameless applause for every unassisted step. Fresh-faced teenagers kiss messily on gum-ridden park benches, exchanging infatuated love letters ripped out of their chemistry notebooks. A bride dressed in an endless lace train saunters down the cathedral aisle as her long-awaited future gazes at her; a miracle epitomized. Today, someone will free themselves from the chains of seemingly unbeatable addiction. Today, impossibility will begin her metamorphosis. As the sun sets on this horizon, it rises to a brand new morning in different tongues and unseen towns.  Infinite possibilities await at daybreak. We are given just twenty-four hours to savor its colors, just twenty-four hours of carpe diem. Every single day, across each radiant hemisphere, someone is having the best day of their life– a comforting thought to remember in the glaring face of monotony. There will always be someone, hands clasped and ascended eyes, praying fervently for today to last forever.
Defining each day as a revolution means encompassing its entirety, including all of the adversities humans face daily. There is weight to power; there is heaviness that latches onto the innermost core of every human being in the arms of tribulation. As someone rejoices, arms up in a state of frenzied ecstasy, another sits alone, head buried in their hands. No exultation, no festivity, no jubilation thrives within the souls of the downtrodden. Somewhere, perhaps, an expectant young woman sits heartbroken in her hospital bed, devastatingly numb as her arms remain unoccupied with the deafening vacancy of where her lost child should be fast asleep. Today, we will bury fathers, mothers, dreams. Lovers will part, confined to a excruciating reality of confronting simple reminders: his name overheard in someone else’s giddy conversation, a whiff of her perfume on a crowded street. There will be waves upon waves of hopelessness– empty pill bottles, scarlet stained streets, grudges formed and held.. There will be thousands of desperate prayers mumbled under the breath of millions, or sheltered within the deep and unfathomable recesses of one’s beating heart.
God, if you can hear me, please cure my sister.
To the omnipotent man in the sky: when will the war be over? My children are terrified. Consolation is dry. They only know of explosions. They deserve sunshine, laughter, summer. This has been the most heartrending winter.
God, I hope you know I loved him. I still love him. I will always wait for him.
Days are days. And to parallel ourselves, they will end. They are agonizingly limited.
But even still, there remains a tendency in human nature– one that aches to envision the concept of death as something far beyond our visible horizons. Perhaps it is a comforting, reassuring thought– to imagine oneself departing the earth at the ripe old age of one-hundred and five, having lived a complete century of accumulated wisdom– surrounded by pink-cheeked grandchildren, a tangerine sky, chirping birds collectively singing outside of gleaming windowpanes.
This, however, is not always the case. In my seventeen years, many of my most prominent childhood memories have originated from funerals. There I was, a five-year old innocent with thick ribboned-braids, curiously wandering around the parlor in a black dress my mother had purchased especially for this occasion. The reality of death had been faceless until this particular moment: sniffling adults, the complete and utter lack of joy that overwhelmed the stuffy room, the pungent sting of white flowers. This was all that my tender age was capable of understanding: the old woman in the box was going to sleep for a while, perhaps waking up a hundred years later in some sort of Sleeping Beauty-esque fashion.
However, the familiar faces within each adorned casket were  not always wrinkled, their hair only sometimes gray. Many were children, victims of terminal illness or freak accidents, their memorial photos flashing toothless grins and sticky-fingered Halloween costumes. I have witnessed the agonizing  departure of the young, and being young, this haunting observation instilled something profound within my small body– the idea that nothing, not even tomorrow, would ever be presented to me  on a silver platter.
I might not reach one-hundred and five. In fact, today could very well be the last chapter of my human experience. A car wreck, an ambulance ride, a lost pulse.  There will always be a taxing possibility that, God forbid, my story will only have seventeen pages.
And though I do not particularly enjoy such morbid idealism, I have found, within these hypothetical obscurities, the definition of purpose to be one as simple as choice. I am not defined by however long I have left, but what I consciously decide to create out of the minutes I am given.
We must all hereby choose to conquer, to compile all of the seconds left tucked under our belts and love– loudly, relentlessly, recklessly. The days that lie ahead may very well be tainted with lightless despair, perhaps entire weeks, years, decades of annihilated miseries, but it is up to every individual to realize the power that thrives off of our humanness. Time is not a free coupon for influence; rather, it is how we train our ephemeral  hands to hold on tight to the antsy feet of life while they itch to dance forever.
Sing unapologetically in the shower while your voice still rings boisterously enough to be heard by the neighbors. Drive with your windows rolled down, the cold air fanning against skin that has learned, scarred, and lived.
But above all else, love. Be the beacon of light shining luminously in the forest of the oppressed. Be a friend to the fragmented souls that have long since forgotten the taste of tenderness. Listen closely to the silent hurt that begs to be heard past the sky’s roaring thunder. This will always be– skin, bone, hope without the anchor of limitation. Latch on to the untamable hands of the deafening clock, spiraling away into  oblivion.
Choose to extend yours. Even if only for a moment.

How To Love A Borderline

you tell me
you need a break,
my darling–
your problems are the root
of my suffocation.
in your purity, you have
stolen all of the air left
stewing inside my skin.
I must go for now,
reconnect, recharge
so I can love you better.
I will come back
and love you all over again,
I promise.
but all I hear is you’re leaving,
you’re leaving, you’re leaving
goodbye, sweet expired baby,
mausoleum face stomping
on graves of old lovers
here are your feet,
one already out the door, here
are your clothes left crumpled
on my floor, here is my voice
shaking I FEEL DANGEROUS
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AGES
like a match struck
in the hair of a gasoline girl
charcoal face, carbon monoxide
dreamer, you won’t miss her
I am thinking only of
the love affair between
blade and body and
you, you, you
you are the scream of rubber
upon roads that lead somewhere
the soles of my feet
are not allowed
to follow.
here is your voice again
promise me you won’t
do anything, promise me you will
take care of yourself
promise me promise me
promise
I say I promise
but all of them have been
left shattered on the floor,
stained glass temptation
as God watches me
pick up a single shard
and taste the scarlet sting
of your silence.
you taste like the post-mortem
sigh of relief, bodies drifting
noiselessly down the rivers
we once fell for
and somehow,
in.

Swan Song

the word goodbye on my tongue
always tastes of graphite.
its pigment does not absorb
deep enough for me
to believe in permanence.
goodbye tastes of dreams that end
too briskly to be remembered at the
wake of morning’s rapture;
it waits in innocence, anticipating
unpromised resurrection–
the front door rap of expired
lovers, extinguished flames,
and hope. goodbye is a fresh wound
already scarring, too young,
too weak, too tender to cradle
in our palms for always.

We said goodbye once

and today I am running
to peer out the window
at the vibration of something
that sounds like your feet
pattering up my front steps. Today
is the day that you love me again,
today is the day goodbye is buried.

but it is always just children chasing
each other in the streets, the mailman
sifting through envelopes,
a strong gust of wind carrying faith
somewhere far away from here
never you, never mind

and today is the day I let myself cry because
I am breathing spilled ink, and time,
and everything irreversible
while goodbye is left
newborn on my doorstep
once more.